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If one seeks to capture a thief, one should send a thief. For only a thief truly comprehends just what another is and what it takes to vanquish. I am that thief that one sends.
Grandmaster of Theft is an epic which blends elements of Action Adventure, Comedy, Thriller, Crime Fiction, Wuxia, Romance, and Mystery. The stories are broken up into a series of 10 Volumes with each story told through combination of multi-part and solo episodes.
Cassidy Cain is heiress to CAINternational, strategical & tactical prodigy, a martial arts enthusiasts, and one of the world's greatest criminal masterminds. Believing in the motto of "It Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief," she uses the exact same corruption criminals do to get away on them to see to their defeat as the noble thief of justice, Grandmaster of Theft.
Partnered with her personal assistant Augustus Wynn and mentor/grandfather Edan Cain, Cassidy uses her own money, status, connections, social skills, and above all else, intelligence to outwit the corrupt, assist others, evade capture, and hunt down a criminal mastermind known only as Deus.
Can be read here. For all tropes relating to the characters themselves, see the character sheet.
- Action Adventure Series
- Adult Fear: Touched on in regards to Sylvia being kidnapped by Deus. Her father panicked during it, which lead to him getting sloppy and caught. Deus intentionally invoked this response just because it was amusing to see.
- A Glass of Chianti: Invoked for psychological warfare purposes, though with strawberry juice instead.
- A Handful for An Eye: Used to avoid fighting Gale
- All Work vs. All Play: Cassidy is the work, Vincent is the play.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Hero to Villain example, Cass delivers one to Narcissa in regards to her rescuing her. Subverted in fact that Cassidy was going to rescue her from Deus anyway, but wanted to appear only doing it for selfish reasons to avoid appearing weak and ensure a future Enemy Mine.
- Battle of Wits: The entire series is made of these. From strategical battles to physical fights, everything involves conflicting minds facing one another finding ways to accomplish their goals.
- Being Good Sucks: As much as she wants to take the selfish route to destroy Deus' Batman Gambit, Cass realizes that it's not the right thing to do and will weight on her conscious. She goes on to admit some envy for Deus, only because he could do something so selfish and amoral without it bothering him while she can't.
- Bitch Alert: Narcissa pulls this off right away in her very first lines combined with Incoming Ham.
- Big Fancy House: Cain Manor & Crawford Estate
- Blade Brake: Gale stabs the top of the train to keep his balance.
- Blase Boast: Method Cass takes to dealing with Narcissa during their second Grandmaster confrontation
- Bluff the Imposter: Narcissa tries this on Cassidy to test if she's really her or the Grandmaster disguised as Cassidy. It's pointless because Cassidy is not a master of disguise and only spread rumors that Grandmaster is.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Cass' outlook to Crawford Siblings & Rebecca/Wynn's outlook
- Break the Haughty: One of Cassidy's reasons for accepting Narcissa's challenge.
- Bring Them Around: Wynn's loyalty and protective side to Cass comes to head when Cass wants to rescue Narcissa. Cassidy is forced to outright that she will fight him if he stands in her way, knowing full well he won't harm her or let her go alone.
- Born Lucky: Vincent believes all the Elite are this and that's to explain why everything works out in life for them or they can do so many things.
- Bullying a Dragon: Narcissa's entire challenge towards Cassidy.
- But He Sounds Handsome: Cassidy spends time complimenting herself this way while working it into her plan to intentionally irritate Narcissa to make her easier to manipulate.
- Calling Card: Cassidy uses black ones with Sir Reynard on them as a symbol to spread fear to criminals that they can't get away with crimes.
- Calling Your Attacks: Done so as part of a Paranoia Gambit to force Knox to react to suspected sneak attack and get defeated.
- The Caper: The main storylines with mixtures of The Con.
- Cape Swish: Vincent pulls it with his cape whenever he exits.
- Catch Phrase:
- "I wouldn't deserve to be called Grandmaster of Theft if I couldn't..." for Cassidy.
- "We of the Crawford Dynasty..." for both Gale and Rae.
- Character Title
- Chekhov's Gun: The fake Undine's Tear becomes this in Volume 2. See Out Gambitted below.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Cass uses it a second time to trick mooks into surrendering to her as part of a deal.
- The Chessmaster: A series filled with variety of them, each of their own styles and varying skill level.
- City of Canals: The Imperial City-State Montello is known for this, even being called the Aqua City.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted. Multiple times through Cass has done her best to avoid this happening and uses her wits to make job easier for her.
- Cool Train: Cross-Continental Express
- Cunning Like a Fox: Sir Reynard, a figure who appears on Grandmaster calling cards.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Cassidy delivers one to Narcissa.
- Dispense with the Pleasantries: Cassidy's attitude when dealing with Deus.
- Don't Tell Mama: Cassidy's attitude towards her identity as Grandmaster in regards to her parents and friends.
- Dressed in Layers: Cassidy wears full dresses over top of her Grandmaster attire from time to time when she knows she needs to be able to change quickly in public locations.
- The Epic
- Evasive Fight Thread Episode: Cassidy versus Gale atop the train went this route instead.
- Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Cass uses this from time to time, both out of respect and mocking others
- Everything's Better with Chocolate: Chocoins
- Evil Is Easy: Narcissa's reasoning for being Jerkass to gain fame is because it is easy.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: As Narcissa soon learns from trying to use Deus to her advantage
- Fakin' MacGuffin: Narcissa pulled this with Undine's Tear.
- Family Business: Cain International, with regards that Cassidy's groomed to become the inheritor.
- Family Honor: The Crawford Lineage reflect this through honoring their role to protecting innocent and close-knit family in that way.
- Fast Roping: Cassidy does this...ON A TRAIN!
- Fantastic Fighting Style: Cassidy's Bellavado, Rae and Gale's Crawford Combat Discipline
- Finger Wag: One of Cassidy's signature traits.
- Fist of Rage: A sign generally of Cass' annoyance, though she does best she can to retain composure.
- Flaw Exploitation: All over the place.
- Gambit Pileup: The entire series, with Cassidy & Deus being the main players
- Gadget Watch: Cass owns one which doubles as a grappling hook, GPS, and synced up with her other gadgets to act as a remote
- Goal in Life: Cassidy's goal is to be the perfect leader to Cain International
- Good Parents: Nickolas and Scarlette Cain to Cassidy.
- Half Truth: Whenever travelling around as herself, Cassidy uses these if questioned what she's doing.
- The Heavy: Though Deus is the Big Bad of entire series, Narcissa serves as the primary antagonist and focal target for the entirety of first story arc.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Discussed. It's one of reasons Gale is against the existence of Grandmaster, believing that it'll eventually lead to this.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: As herself, Cassidy is a Spirited Young Lady who is known for being a Teen Genius and practices martial arts. The Grandmaster is a Classy Cat Burglar Phantom Thief who has elements of Lady of War. Cassidy doesn't try to disguise the traits they have in common because if questioned on it, she'll argue that the fact she doesn't hide those traits is proof she's not the Grandmaster since she's not trying to hide anything.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Narcissa's fake Undine's Tear comes to bite her in the ass during Episode 4's caper because of Cassidy pretending it's the real one.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Nickolas and Scarlette Cain. Cassidy is one in training.
- Honor Before Reason: Cass laughs at herself for it, since she's going to rescue Narcissa from Deus only because she believes it's right thing to do and her conscious couldn't live with it.
- Idle Rich: Vincent Sharpe is mostly this aside from public appearances representing company.
- If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten: Deus has Cornelius D. Knox and Jose Rocamora fight each other in a duel to the death to prove that they aren't playing around about working for him.
- Incoming Ham: "I – the GLORIOUS MADAME RICHMOND – will reveal to the world the REAL face of the Grandmaster!"
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Cassidy's reasoning for not telling Rebecca, who is a fan of Grandmaster & could be useful ally, her secret identity.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Narcissa pulls this in her fight with Cassidy.
- Just Toying with Them: Cassidy treats the entire fight with Narcissa like this.
- Le Parkour: Used by some such as Cassidy and Wynn as means of quick travel and defeating obstacles.
- Limited Social Circle: While Cassidy is The Social Expert, she's doesn't have many real friends because her grooming doesn't give her much time to form bonds.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Anti-Hero to Villain one, Cassidy attacks Knox after fight with full intentions to cripple him because he's a serious threat who needs to be taken care of then and there while they have chance.
- King on His Deathbed: Emperor Arkland is mentioned to be in this state and that his heirs are trying to prove their worth to be the strongest leader.
- Kneel Before Zod: Done by Cass to Narcissa as means of delivering Humble Pie.
- Locked Out of the Fight: Invoked & inverted by Cassidy against Narcissa.
- MacGuffin: Undine's Tear during Volume I and II's story arcs.
- Mega Corp: Cain International is a benevolent example of this.
- Mind Game Ship: Canon example, with Deus' outlook to Cassidy
- Morality Kitchen Sink
- My Defense Need Not Last Me Forever: Out of response to Deus' Kansas City Shuffle. Since Cass is not precisely sure what to expect, she makes the best of what she has on hand and knowledge, using a tracking device to turn Sharpe Security into an unwitting calvary while she plays along with his game long enough.
- Myth Arc: Cassidy's quest to take down Deus
- Mistress and Servant Boy: Cassidy and Wynn
- Nepotism: Cassidy dislikes the thought that this is the only reason she'll one day run the Family Business. She chooses to work hard to prove that she deserves the position based upon her own talents, not family.
- Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight: Narcissa keeps a hidden knife on her she tries to use against Cassidy which turns out to be absolutely useless.
- Inverted by Gale, who uses a sword. Thanks to this advantage and location of fight, she decides to run instead.
- No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: Grazia's in Montello, which Cass takes advantage of as bait with her invitation.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever happened in Byzerand when Cassidy was a kid that embarrasses her.
- The Ojou: Cassidy & Rae
- One-Gender School: Cassidy, Rae, and Rebecca all attended one together.
- Organ Theft: Brought up by Deus as a threat
- Origins Episode: It Takes A Thief... serves as this to Grandmaster
- Paranoia Gambit: When confronted with Cornelius D. Knox for first time and he proves himself savvy to Cass methods, she employees this in response. His study of her backfires when he becomes so wrapped up in waiting for her trick that he can't focus on challenge in front of him.
- Phantom Thief: The Grandmaster of Theft, naturally.
- Private Military Contractor: One part of Sharpe Security is this, though they only focus in security within itself.
- Series Goal: Defeat and capture Deus
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Cassidy's entire outlook as the Grandmaster
- Cassidy's briefcase's password is 813
- Signature Laugh
- Rebecca's Ahaha~
- Cassidy's ehehehe
- Wynn's heh
- Deus's Oho!
- Slouch of Villainy: Cassidy does anti-heroine variation while sitting on the edge of a building.
- Social Darwinist: Arkland's Empire. The end goal is to create a perfect union through everybody's combined merit. If one fails to contribute, they fall in class and everybody is expected to adapt to situation.
- Spit Take: Cassidy does this in response to Gale being on board.
- Stop Or Ill Shoot Myself: Plan B for Cass when dealing with Deus meant to exploit his selfishness. It works.
- Talk to the Fist: Cassidy to Narcissa via throwing card to the face.
- Wynn later pulls this on Knox after Cass distracts him into trying to figure out her plan
- Talking Your Way Out: Cass plays on a group of mooks greed to get rid of them, using reverse psychology and offer at better deal to get free.
- That One Case: Olivia Crawford's murder is this to Gale.
- That's What I Would Do:
Cassidy: Keep on the lookout for anybody in the crowd just trying to blend in, but seems to be doing more. Particularly if they are keeping an eye out for Narcissa or scanning around. It's just a hunch, but I suspect she may have assistance hidden within the crowd.
- That Wasn't a Request: This exchange during the meeting atop the train.
Gale: Seeing as you've concluded your business with her, you should not be pressed to conduct some with me now, would you? I've just a couple of questions to ask.
- Time Skip: 3 years pass between the origins story and start up of the plot. Said time itself was spent becoming a Classy Cat Burglar, building reputation, and seeking leads on Deus.
- Too Slow: Cassidy's speed fighting style causes her to see others as this. She actually taunts Gale with this before escaping.
- Train Job: Narcissa challenges the Grandmaster to complete one to steal Undine's Tear
- Traintop Battle: Subverted. Cassidy & Gale are set-up for one, but Cassidy realizes the environment is not to her advantage & tries to avoid fighting, leading to an Evasive Fight Thread Episode.
- Trophy Room: Narcissa owns one which holds a history of her accomplishments which she shows off to everybody who enters and also sells various items off from.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Done by Narcissa after cheating her way to victory.
- Upbringing Makes the Hero: Cass being raised to become an Honest Corporate Executive is what turned her into a cunning strategist with clear set of morals and wish to help people.
- Very Punchable Man: Zadak serves this point early on as means to show off Cassidy's skill.
- Victory by Endurance: Two variations employ against each other. Deus is throwing multiple challenges at her meant to wear down for the final fight while Cass' holds out against them long enough while waiting for The Calvary to show up.
- Walk Into Mordor: Cassidy uses this as tactical consideration (taking the path of least expected) for how enter Narcissa's room and travels across the top of a train.
Grandmaster Cass: “I couldn’t just waltz my way down the hall and into her room, now could I?”
- Web Original
- Web Serial Novel
- What the Hell, Hero?: Edan calls Cassidy out on losing her temper and giving into violent impulses.
- What You Are in the Dark: Deus engineers a situation of this, fully using it to work off of a Batman Gambit he designed that can only be defeated by doing something selfish. Cassidy does consider selfish solution and wishes she could take it, but her morals won't allow it.
- White Shirt of Death: Sharpe Security's white suits when worn by Jose Rocamora and Cornelius D. Knox
- Win Without Fighting: Usual aim when running operations, though with varying success. Cass prefers to only resort to violence when needed, though temper or others unwillingness to submit can force it.
- World Building: Terreneus
- Would Hurt a Child: If it'll give him an advantage, Deus is perfectly willing to have this done. His Dragon willingly follows through with it, holding her by neck while dangling over the side off of boat all while Deus plays Manipulative Bastard.
- Xanatos Gambit: One pulled off by Narcissa Richmond. She went along with Deus' request, achieving exactly what he aimed for. She also brought a fake Undine's Tear with her just in case she lost. Which meant that if Narcissa won the challenge, she would capture her and be able to effectively say she was able to outmaneuver. And if she lost, as she did, she had the fake one as back-up to be taken by Cassidy then keep the real one with her to use as evidence of her victory. In either situation, she gains the glory which she seeks through victory, keeps Undine's Tear, and does exactly what Deus wants. Later revealed to have been Deus' plan as part of a Kansas City Shuffle.
- Cassidy uses a short term one when facing Knox, using a flanking strategy and distractions to make it so no matter where he put his attention, he'd lose. Goes on to reveal her accepting Deus challenge was part of a larger plan.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: When forced back into a corner by Deus Man Behind the Man actions, Cassidy resorts to this to adapt to situation.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Deus cheers on and encourages Cassidy to attack Knox after fight. She's completely repulsed by having to do so, though still follows through because it needs to be done.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Undine's Tear Cassidy stole was a fake & Narcissa had the real one.